Coach: Mark Ritzler, ninth year
Last season: 2-8, 1-6 TRAC
Returning letter winners: 14
Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 6
Top players: Seniors Sam Iliff, 6-2, 255, OL; Brandon Muehl, 6-5, 205, QB; Grant Niswander, 6-2, 175, WR; Joe Hammond, 5-10, 162, WR; Nick Kiffmeyer, 5-11, 184; Desmond Lino, 6-1, 197, LB. Juniors Grant McKinniss, 5-11, 180, PK-PU; Emmanuel Mogolu, 5-9, 167, RB.
Outlook: The Trojans, contenders at the top of the TRAC in 2011 and 2012, struggled last season and look to rebound with starters back at 13 of 22 positions. Three-year starter Iliff anchors the offensive line, and Muehl returns after passing for 1,735 yards and 14 TDs as a junior. Niswander had 69 receptions for 687 yards, Mogolu rushed for 592 yards, Kiffmeyer made 71 tackles, and McKinniss was second team All-Ohio as a kicker.
Ritzler lists skill personnel, experience, big-play potential as team, and the overall kicking game as strengths. His chief concerns are the defensive line play and run defense.
“We hope our experience leads to more big plays this year as well as a more effective run game,” Ritzler said. “While our defense does have some experience back, the defensive line is inexperienced.”
Aug. 29-at Anthony Wayne
Sept. 5-Grove City
Sept. 12-at Southview
Sept. 26-St. John's
Oct. 3-at Lima Senior
Oct. 10-Central Catholic
Oct. 24-at Fremont Ross
Oct. 31-St. Francis at UT